ROV Hull Cleaner

The first hull cleaning of a cruise vessel using GAC EnvironHull’s diver- and brush-free HullWiper has been completed in Copenhagen.

The removal of marine fouling from the DFDS Group’s 2,800 Pearl Seaways marked the latest in more than 550 hull cleans carried out by the pioneering remotely operated vehicle (ROV) worldwide.

It took just 7.5 hours to complete the hull clean of the cruise ferry, which serves routes between Copenhagen and Oslo, the company said. 

Gert Jakobsen, Vice President of the DFDS Group, explained why they chose to clean with HullWiper: “We pride ourselves on our environmental credentials, so it was essential that whatever system we chose could handle waste water and not contaminate the local marine ecosystem with debris and fouling material.

“DFDS also cares about safety – and the ability to use a remotely operated vehicle instead of divers and brush carts was a definite advantage. This made choosing HullWiper to clean the ‘Pearl Seaways’ an obvious choice.”

In addition to the benefits of greater safety, pollution avoidance, improved performance, reduced fuel consumption and fewer carbon emissions, a clean hull plays a key role in forming the first impressions of passengers when boarding a ship.

“We are always looking at markets that can benefit from HullWiper’s approach to cleaning, and the cruise industry ticks all the boxes,” noted GAC EnvironHull Managing Director Simon Doran. “Time is critical in the cruise sector, so delivering a fast hull clean with minimum disruption is paramount.

“Further, as cruise liners generally have top-quality hull coatings, it’s important to avoid any damage caused by brushes or abrasives. By using adjustable sea water jets to remove fouling, HullWiper eliminates that risk, and offers a huge long-term saving.

“Cleaning the ‘Pearl Seaways’ represented an important landmark for GAC EnvironHull, and one of what we expect to be many from the cruise sector.”